By Allison Braund
Patrick Henry College
Patrick Henry College faculty, staff, and students raised $320 for the Purcellville centennial book fund Thursday by paying for the privilege of wearing blue jeans. The program, Blue Jeans Bucks for the Book (BBB), is an effort to be involved in the Purcellville community.
Participants proudly displayed their BBB stickers, which cost two dollars for students and three dollars for staff and faculty. The BBB program takes place on the Thursdays of April 3, April 17, April 24, and May 1. Participants purchase tickets from the bookstore or the Office of Student Life
“The heart behind this idea is the community,” Dean Corbitt said. “It is important for us to be active players in the community of Purcellville.”
The proceeds of the sales go to Purcellville’s Centennial book fund, which supports the creation of a book commemorating the history of Purcellville. The book is part of Purcellville’s centennial celebration and will tell the story of the town’s evolution.
“Purcellville has gathered tons of old photographs and commissioned an author for the book,” said sophomore Kyndra Jamison, senator and chair on the Student Community Involvement Commission. “It will probably sell for $30-40 in local bookstores. The people in the town are really excited about this.”
“PHC’s idea for fundraising is something I hadn’t heard of before,” said Cheryl Herman of the Purcellville Centennial Committee. “It’s a great idea, one that I wish other organizations would do to get involved with the community.”
The idea of BBB came to Jamison following the Purcellville Centennial Committee meeting. “I saw the potential for this fundraiser to greatly enhance Patrick Henry’s connection with the Purcellville community,” Jamison said. “‘Blue jean Fridays’ or ‘dollars for denim’ is a popular form of fundraising at other places.”
The program is [a first of many] efforts by the Student Community Involvement Commission, which has been in existence for one month. “The response to the commission has been overwhelmingly positive,” Jamison said.
The students seemed enthusiastic about the effort. “I am happy our school is getting involved in the community. The program is a good idea, since people probably wouldn’t get involved otherwise,” sophomore Tia Ly said. “If we are using the town’s water and supplies, we should contribute to the community.”
Many of the students expressed excitement over the opportunity to wear jeans, which are not normally a part of the business casual dress code. “I think it’s a brilliant idea,” said sophomore Aidan Grano. “This is an opportunity to show we can dress well and still be business casual as well as support the community.”
Business casual dress code was still enforced. Students were required to wear dressy tops and shoes, and the men wore suit jackets with their jeans. While most were enthusiastic, some students disliked paying money to wear jeans or disapproved of the temporary change in dress code. “I believe in upholding the standard of corporate casual,” said freshman Robert Saunders, who was wearing a suit.
Still, Saunders and other students purchased stickers despite disagreeing with the wearing of denim.
Dean Corbitt said that the students looked nice in a way that did not violate business casual, and managed to keep PHC’s air of professionalism.
“Blue Jean Bucks for the Book comes down to one thing: it’s not about wearing jeans,” she said. “It’s about supporting the community.”